Requiescant in pace – November 2010

I am happy that the list in November is much shorter now that winter started, lesser miles are driven. But in this wet and sometimes icy season, be specially careful on 2 wheels.

I subscribed to Google news with certain key words, like “Harley-Davidson” and “Road King”, and first I was quite shocked to get on a daily basis email notifications of a fellow Harley driver who died in a accident mainly in the US.

I think that in some cases one can learn from these tragic events, and here the latest reports mentioning the fellow divers and passengers killed while doing what they most enjoyed.

Please drive safely and wear a helmet!

R.I.P

2.11. A 67-year-old Kentucky man is dead and another is in critical condition after they were ejected from their motorcycles Saturday night while trying to avoid a deer. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, George Taylor, of Harrodburg, Ky., and 65-year-old Lexington, Ky., resident James Roe were headed west on State Road 72, east of Myakka River Road, around 7:15 p.m. when a deer darted onto the road from the shoulder. Taylor tried to swerve to miss the animal but was not successful. He was thrown from his 2000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Roe, who was following Taylor, lost control of his Harley and was thrown while trying to evade the deer and Taylor. Both men were flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where Taylor was declared dead. Roe remained in critical condition.

2.11. A Gerber man riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle was killed Monday night after he rear-ended a sedan that was stopped at an intersection near Red Bluff, the California Highway Patrol reported today. Terry Hite, 54, was riding his motorcycle north on Road 99W when he failed to see a Ford Taurus stopped at the intersection of Road 99W and Finnell Avenue, according to the CHP. Hite braked but was unable to avoid hitting the right rear of the car. The force of the collision threw Hite off his bike. Hite died at the scene, the CHP reported. He was wearing a helmet. The accident occurred at 6:22 p.m. Monday. It is not known how fast Hite was traveling when he hit the car.

2.11. The two Naples residents killed in an early Sunday morning motorcycle accident on Pine Ridge Road have been identified. Daniel Webber, 38, and Nadia Webber, 34, were traveling west on Pine Ridge Road on Daniel Webber’s 2010 Harley Davidson motorcycle when they crashed into the back of a 1997 Isuzu pickup truck stopped at a red light at the Interstate 75 intersection, according to Florida Highway Patrol report. The accident occurred just before 2 a.m. Neither Daniel Webber, who was driving, or his wife were wearing a helmet, according to the witness. Alcohol was not a contributing factor to the crash, according to the FHP.

4.11. Jason Thornton took his final ride Thursday afternoon with his friends and family close behind. Thornton, who died Oct. 31 at the age of 40, was carried to his final resting place in a way fitting for his love of motorcycles, a 2010 Harley-Davidson Road King motorcycle pulling a Tombstone Motorcycle Hearse. “It’s a fitting tribute for someone who loved to ride,” said Gene Pellerin, the owner of the unique hearse. Following the hearse was a processional of more than 50 motorcycles, some bearing the colors of Thornton’s club, the Pistoleros MC, but all coming to pay their last respects to someone they called brother.

4.11. A 79-year-old motorcyclist was fatally injured when he collided with a car on Interstate 15 today, triggering a multi-vehicle crash. Domenic Liscotti of Corona was pronounced dead about an hour after the accident at the Winchester Road offramp, according to the California Highway Patrol. Liscotti was exiting the interstate on his 2008 Harley Davidson around 11 a.m. when he ran into the back of a Lake Elsinore woman’s 2003 BMW, said CHP Officer Ron Thatcher. He said Liscotti was going between 20 and 30 mph and apparently failed to see the traffic ahead of him stopped until the last second. “Liscotti attempted to stop and swerve to the right, but was unable to avoid the back of the BMW,” said Thatcher. “The impact caused the BMW to roll forward and strike the back of a Toyota Camry, which in turn was pushed forward into the rear of a Suzuki XL7.” Liscotti was thrown from his Harley, losing his helmet and landing on the right shoulder of the offramp, according to Thatcher. The victim was rushed to Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta, where he died just before noon.

5.11. A motorcyclist was killed in a crash with two wheelchairs in the far West Valley overnight. It happened just after midnight on Indian School Road between 99th Avenue and Loop 101. There are no streetlights on that stretch of Indian School Road, so the area is extremely dark. In addition, there’s no sidewalk. According to police, a 23-year-old man in an electric wheelchair was towing a 36-year-old man in a non-motorized wheelchair when a motorcycle hit them. Police said the motorcyclist tried to avoid the men in the wheelchairs. The 46-year-old motorcyclist was thrown from his 2004 Harley Davidson. He was transported to a local hospital where he died from his injuries. The men in the wheelchairs suffered only scrapes and bruises.

9.11. An Oxford man was thrown from his motorcycle and killed after his Harley Davidson collided with a pickup truck Monday afternoon in Newton County, according to the Georgia State Patrol. The motorcyclist Mr. Terrance Michael Collins, 39, had the right of way, officials said Tuesday. But investigators have not yet decided to charge the pickup driver, Mr. Donald P. Kahle, 68, of Oxford for the wreck that happened on Stone Road, spokesman Mr. Gordy Wright said. Mr. Kahle was traveling west on Stone Road in his 2005 Dodge Ram pick-up truck and attempted to make a left turn into the county recycling center, Mr. Wright said. Mr. Collins, who was headed east, struck the pickup in the rear about 4:40 p.m., and the impact tossed him from his motorcycle, the spokesman said. Mr. Kahle, who was not injured, could face charges once the investigation is finished, Mr. Wright said.

9.11. A motorcyclist killed in a hit and run collision Tuesday morning in Sacramento has been identified. James Walter Murphy, 55, of Wilton was on his Harley-Davidson on northbound Highway 99 near the 47th Avenue exit about 9:55 a.m. when his bike was struck by a maroon Mercury Sable, said the California Highway Patrol. Murphy suffered a major head injury and died a short time later at an area hospital. CHP Officer Michael Bradley said the Mercury hit the highway center divide and bounced back into traffic lanes, striking Murphy’s bike. The impact sent Murphy off his bike. The Harley then struck another vehicle, causing minor damage. Bradley said the teen driving the Mercury fled the scene but was found by authorities at his Sacramento County home later that day. After questioning, the teen was released to his sister. Bradley said the investigation was continuing. No charges were filed at this time. The teen driver’s name was not released due to his age.

14.11. In eastern Yuba County, Douglas Allen Canadas, 62, of Orland was riding with a group of motorcyclists when his 2009 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy crashed at about 4:30 p.m., the California Highway Patrol reported. He was thrown from his motorbike and suffered fatal injuries. The cyclists were traveling west on Highway 20 and had headed into a sweeping right-hand curve west of Smartville Road, according to the CHP. Canadas, riding at about 60 mph, ran across the opposite lane onto the gravel shoulder and the bike overturned, throwing him to the ground. His Harley slid back into the westbound lane and caught fire.

16.11. A 46-year-old man riding a motorcycle on Lee Highway was killed Sunday night when the rear brake on his Harley Davidson locked, causing an accident, Prince William police said. The man, Jeffrey Scott Graham, of Gainesville, died at a local hospital shortly after the crash at Hopewells Landing Drive. He was not wearing an approved helmet, according to police.

17.11. A 78-year-old New Jersey man died in a Chester County motorcycle accident last week, police said Tuesday. Police said Bernard J. Deangelis, of Mickleton, was traveling south on Route 841 in West Marlborough Township near Thouran Road at 11:20 a.m. on Wednesday when he failed to negotiate a right-hand turn in the roadway, veered into the grass on the east side of the highway, and crashed his 2009 Harley-Davidson Road King. Police said Deangelis, who was wearing a helmet, was taken to Paoli Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

21.11. A Grafton man is dead following a motorcycle crash on a Worcester highway Saturday night. State police said James McLeod, 53, was riding a 2010 Harley Davidson on the ramp from Route 190 southbound to Route 290 westbound when he somehow lost control of the bike, striking a guardrail. McLeod was transported to UMass Medical Center in Worcester, where he was pronounced dead.

21.11. A man killed Saturday afternoon when his motorcycle collided with a car in north Shreveport has been identified as Michael Fowler, 50, of Shreveport. His wife, who was a passenger on the motorcycle, was seriously injured and remained hospitalized today, authorities said. The accident happened about 4 p.m. at Old Mooringsport Road and Ravendale Drive. Police said Fowler’s 2008 Harley-Davidson motorcycle crashed into a 2007 Chrysler whose driver made a left turn in front of him. The driver of the Chrysler, Lizzie Mosely, 56, of Shreveport, was taken to the hospital for treatment of what police described as non-life-threatening injuries.

23.11. A Springtown woman died Monday after the motorcycle on which she was riding was struck by a pickup truck in Palo Pinto County. Linda White, 55, was as a passenger on a 2001 Harley Davidson traveling east on FM 1148 about 14 miles south of Graham when the crash happened at about 12:30 p.m., said Trooper Lonny Haschel of the Texas Department of Public Safety. The motorcycle’s driver lost control at a curve, slid into the other lane and was struck by a 2005 Dodge pickup traveling west, Haschel said. White, who was ejected from the motorcycle, was taken to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 8:02 p.m., Haschel said. The motorcycle was traveling at an unsafe speed at the time of the crash, Haschel said. The driver of the motorcycle and the driver of the Dodge pickup were uninjured, he said.

25.11. A man is dead after a motorcycle accident that occured around 3:45 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Police said that Kristian Palmer, 32, of Torrington, was driving his 1966 Harley Davidson northbound on Aetna Avenue when he veered to the right of the road and struck several mailboxes. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

26.11. A 55-year-old Horseshoe Bay man has died from injuries he received when he dodged a dog while riding his motorcycle to work on RR 2147 in Cottonwood Shores last week. Robert Castro, 55, died over the weekend at an Austin hospital after the accident on Nov. 17, authorities said. Castro was traveling on his black Harley Davidson from his home in Horseshoe Bay to his job in Marble Falls at about 6:30 a.m. when the one-vehicle accident occurred, said Frank Smith, Cottonwood Shores interim police chief. “Eyewitnesses said he laid his motorcycle down to prevent hitting a dog which had wandered onto the road,” Smith explained.

26.11. A 44-year-old LaFollette man was killed Thanksgiving Day when he lost control of his motorcycle and struck a guardrail in Campbell County. Donald L. Heck was riding northbound on Demory Road about 9:09 p.m. near High Knob Road when he failed to negotiate a curve, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Larry Skeen. The 1980 Harley Davidson left the roadway and hit a guardrail.

27.11. A fatality occurred Wednesday evening 2 miles west of Salina on Cole Strang Rd. According to an accident report, 52-year-old Paul Littlefield of Pryor was ejected from his Harley Davidson motorcycle after failing to negotiate a curve. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The driver was not wearing a helmet, the report states.

29.11. A Middle Island father of four, who just purchased his first motorcycle this year, died Monday morning after he crashed his bike in Huntington, Suffolk Police and neighbors said. Mark Spoerer, 52, was driving his 2009 Harley Davidson eastbound on Route 25 when he apparently lost control of his motorcycle and struck a utility pole west of Schiller Avenue at approximately 10:40 a.m, police said. He was transported to Huntington Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

I hope this list of fatal accidents for November 2010 is complete, but I fear it may not be. In the US alone, a average of 14 motorcycle drivers die every day. If you know of other tragedies involving drivers of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, please feel free to add them in their memories in the comment fields.

In the meantime, keep your distance, maintain a safe speed, and ride defensively. Have a safe journey. And should you be caught speeding, do not try to outrun the police, it usually ends in tears.

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